Loss of Arctic Sea Ice is Inevitable

  • 13 Jun 2023

The recent study published in the Nature journal suggests that the loss of Arctic sea ice is inevitable in the coming decades, even if significant reductions in carbon emissions are achieved.

Key Findings

  • Human Influence: The researchers found that as much as 90% of the ice-melting in the Arctic is caused by human activities, primarily greenhouse gas emissions. This indicates that anthropogenic factors play a dominant role in the decline of Arctic sea ice.
  • Underestimated Melting: The study highlights that climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have underestimated the rate of Arctic ice melting.
  • By correcting for this underestimation, the researchers concluded that even in emission scenarios where temperatures rise above 4.5°C, there could be ice-free summers by 2080, and potentially even earlier if drastic emission reductions are not undertaken.
  • Limited Impact of Emission Pathways: The study suggests that until 2060, there is little difference between high and low emissions pathways in terms of temperature change. This means that regardless of the emissions trajectory, the Arctic is likely to experience similar temperature changes until that time.